Conceived by British cyclist Sasha Afanasieva, the Blubel is a sat nav in a bicycle bell. Syncing up with an app on your smartphone, Blubel provides navigational cues and if you want to alert other users to hazards, you just ring it as you would a regular bell.
“Blubel is a connected bicycle bell, so you can ring it just like you would a traditional bell. Every time a Blubel is rung, it indicates an alert point in the supporting app and cloud technology,” says Afanasieva.
“These location points and other journey data are gathered and analysed to calculate the safest routes and highlight any potential hazards on your selected route.”
“With the Blubel app you can plan your route for guidance by the Blubel device, track your cycling after and customise the Blubel device. The Blubel app automatically shows the three quietest route options, and other useful information such as time and distance to destination and potential hazards and roadworks.”
“With the help of our community, we will also show dangerous hotspots where people ring the Blubel bicycle bell and recommended bike parking spots.”
So essentially it navigates your every turn and learns from the cycling community to find the safest routes. Sounds pretty interesting right?
So here’s how it works: Users indicate their destination on the app and then after pressing go, Blubel’s intuitive 12 LED gestures call out turn by turn directions and indicate the heading of your ultimate destination. No more getting lost, diverted onto busy roads, or being forced to stop at every junction to find your bearings.
The Blubel also gives audible buzzes to indicate turns – so you can keep your eyes on the road – as well as a single LED light that indicates the direction you’re heading for the entirety of the journey. But just incase you do get lost, Blubel also recalculates your route.
The Blubel currently being developed with backing from IBM and the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre. The device top is matte silicon so there’s no light glare from the sun and it feels smooth to the touch.
“We worked with mechanical engineers on the ergonomics of the attachment mount so that it fits securely on the handlebars, no matter how bumpy the ride,” says Afanasieva.
Blubel is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter – check it out here.